Stevie Nicks

Stand Back

Composed by George Duning / Stevie Nicks

Song Review by

Inspired by a Prince song, "Stand Back" is supposedly based on the power that can be unleashed during a heated argument, but the song's rock-induced hooks and sharp keyboard instantly trivialize Nicks' lyrical intentions.

"Stand Back" became Stevie Nicks' fifth Top 40 single, stemming from her second solo album entitled The Wild Heart, released in 1983. Nicks had a monumental task ahead of her after the release of her stellar debut album, Bella Donna, in 1981, which netted her four Top 40 singles, with two of them climbing into the Top Ten. Prince originally made it into the studio to play keyboards on the first couple of drafts of "Stand Back," but it's Sandy Stewart's work that graces the final product, along with Toto's Steve Lukather on guitar. The song was an excellent choice in introducing The Wild Heart, emitting a marvelous rock & roll power through Nick's emotive vocals and through the depth of the soaring keyboards. Like "Edge of Seventeen," "Stand Back" is rock savvy and forceful, raising the song's stock slightly from a mainstream radio tune to something more expressive. When Fleetwood Mac released The Chain in 1992, a hearty four-CD retrospective of the band, it included a live, previously unreleased version of "Stand Back" with Lindsey Buckingham providing some astonishing guitar work. This rendition, because of Buckingham's guitar prowess and the live atmosphere (where Nicks truly shines), definitely trumps the original. Even so, "Stand Back"'s most familiar version surely deserves its Top Five status and serves as one of Stevie Nicks' best rock songs.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Wild Heart 1983 Atlantic / Rhino 4:51
No Image 1991 Lightyear Video
Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks 1991 Atlantic / Rhino 4:57
Sounds of the Eighties: 1983 1994
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:25
Live: Red Rocks 1995 Lightyear
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 12 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:56
Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks 1998 Atlantic 4:56
The Divine 2001 EMI Music Distribution 4:48
Singers And Songwriters: 1980-1983 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
KFOG Live from the Archives, Vol. 9 2002
Various Artists
Radio San Francisco
Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks 2007 Reprise
No Image 2007 Reprise 11:32
Live in Chicago [DVD] 2008 Reprise
The Soundstage Sessions 2009 Reprise 4:41
House of Blues: The Classic 1994 Broadcast 2011 Let Them Eat Vinyl / Plastic Head
Beauty and the Beast: Live 1985 Radio Broadcast 2014 Iconography / Music Video Distribution 7:56
Live on Air Four Worlds / Northworld 7:13
Stand Back Reprise 11:32
blue highlight denotes editor's pick